Daylight saving ends on Sunday and firefighters say it is a timely reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.

The clocks will go back by one hour early on April 7 and Fire and Emergency New Zealand wants people to make sure their alarms are working correctly.

National adviser fire risk management Peter Gallagher said the end of daylight saving was a good time to check smoke alarms.

"It's heartening that more people are installing smoke alarms- but it's pointless having them if they're not working correctly," he said.


Gallagher said it did not take long to check your smoke alarms and could be a lifesaver.

"People tell us that if the light is flashing and the alarm isn't chirping then they must be fine, but that's not always the case," he said.

"Smoke alarms don't last forever: they all have expiry dates and need to be replaced."

People aged 16 to 24 were less likely than other age groups to have an alarm or to check them, he said.

"If your children have left home you can talk to them about the importance of smoke alarms," he said.

"Make sure they're installed wherever they are living and, when you check your own alarms, remind them to check theirs."

Gallagher said people living in rented accommodation were less likely to check their alarms.

"Some are under the mistaken belief that it is the responsibility of the landlords, others don't have ladders to access the alarms," he said.


"Landlords must provide working smoke alarms at the start of a tenancy and replace them when they expire, but it is the tenants' responsibility to maintain them and replace the batteries when needed."

- Check the smoke alarm battery once a month, starting this daylight saving weekend by pressing the test button. If the alarm doesn't have a button, check its expiry date.
- If you cannot reach the button and don't have a ladder, use a broom handle.
- Dust and debris can stop alarms from working properly and cause false alarms, so vacuum over and around the alarms regularly.
- Check the expiry date on the bottom of each alarm and replace when necessary.
To find out more about choosing, installing and checking your smoke alarms, visit:
- In 2019 88 per cent of New Zealanders have at least one smoke alarm, up from 82% in 2014. The target is 96 per cent.
Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand